Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Today, you will be treated with a great post from one of my readers, Cory W. After my post "A VOICE OF WARNING", I received an email from Cory where he pointed out many of the false traditions in the Church. I invited him to write a guest post about it. The rest is history and found below.

The Culture of Tradition

When I read the blog post titled 'A Voice of Warning', it really resonated with me. I really connected with the part about false traditions. In my opinion, there could be volumes of materials devoted to this subject within any church, including the LDS Church. 

The true prophets of scripture and the Restoration have always been persecuted because of teaching things that were not pleasant to hear.  I loved what I heard a friend say recently, that 'Jesus was not killed for teaching Blessed are the Peacemakers or for teaching 'Love one Another'. Indeed, the most persecution typically comes from teaching against false traditions. Joseph said:
"I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God, but we frequently see some of  them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary  to their traditions..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p 331; emphasis added). He also said "I do many things to break down superstition, and I will break it down."
The problem with tradition is that it is so close to our hearts. We are just like the people in Joseph's time. We fly to pieces like glass whenever something is taught contrary to what our tradition is. But it gets worse, whether on purpose or not–the current church has woven in so much tradition in today's framework that an individual begins to feel justified in their traditions. 

I invite you to challenge your belief system in all traditions. I have compiled a short list of very simple traditions that we are scared to break down. We have been sufficiently indoctrinated such that even the small things have become tradition. How can we ever be expected to let go of more significant things if we can't even let go of the simple things?

White Shirts

I have heard it said that a white shirt and tie is 'the uniform of the priesthood' (read about the background here). What a great tradition! It sure makes us look more professional and uniform. However, I'm pretty confident that Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Lehi, Peter, Joseph Smith and even Jesus Christ himself NEVER wore a white shirt and tie. This teaching is very similar to the Pharisees. The Savior cursed them for 'making broad their phylacteries'. (Matthew 23:5) The phylactery was an article of clothing that contained the holy writ. Apparently, making it more visible would give the wearer more stature in the eyes of the public.

I remember a high councilman telling me that it was the Stake President's belief that if a man did not wear a white shirt, it was because he wasn't worthy to pass or bless the sacrament and didn't want to be asked to help. I knew that I was worthy no matter the color of my shirt. I recognized this for the false tradition that it was and started wearing colored shirts.

Sitting on the Stand

In Matthew 23:6 He accuses the Pharisees of 'loving the chief seats in the synagogues'. I'm amazed at how much this tradition is loved by men of our age. I've heard constant griping from bishopric members and others about how much they wish they could sit with their families, yet when given the opportunity, they rarely take it. High councilmen and visiting leaders clamor for the opportunity to sit up front. While they never say it, they enjoy being where the whole congregation can see them.

I understand the need to have someone that visitors or investigators can look to as a leader or someone to ask questions of. Have we let it get a little out of hand? Could we just leave it with the member of the bishopric who is conducting? Do we need to have 3 members of the bishopric, the high councilman, the member of the stake presidency and anyone else who needs to feel important all sit up there? I have often imagined that if someone were visiting, they would be very confused at exactly who the leader is because there are so many of them.

Standing for an Apostle

I believe the first time I was present when an Apostle arrived was while I was in the MTC. The second he walked through the door a wave of people started to stand up. It began where he was and spread throughout the entire auditorium. It was almost a race to see who could be the first to recognize him and stand up. Every time that I have seen an Apostle in person since that day has been the same. 

While I understand that there are individuals who garner respect from us, I challenge the notion that a calling automatically gives that respect. I would venture to guess that the large majority of  the people in each of those situations did NOT know the Apostle individually. They were honoring a MAN that they did not personally know. This sounds an awful lot like worship of other gods to me. It has turned into an unwritten commandment that all must stand or suffer the wrath of embarrassment. 

Once again, I'm not sure where this false tradition started, but I'm sure it wasn't practiced by the people of Enoch, the Nephites or in Joseph Smith's day. In fact, Joseph Smith made a point to show that he was just a common man and didn't merit any extra praise or attention.

First Taste of Sacrament

Here is another tradition that has found it's way into the Church Handbook's. For some reason we believe that the presiding authority should be served the sacrament first. How stark in contrast is this to the last supper! The Savior serves those around him first, and is the LAST to partake. 

We go to extreme lengths to make sure that the bishop or stake president is the first person served. What is so noble about being first? Is it because they want to make sure that the bread/water isn't poisoned? Where did this tradition start? It's beginnings are clearly not within the gospel taught by Jesus Christ.

Fast Sunday

Throughout the scriptures and Church History we are commanded to Fast and Pray often. I completely agree. These are two things that help to bring the Spirit into our lives and help us get nearer to the Savior. However, nowhere in the scriptures have I been able to find an instance where we are commanded to fast once a month on a particular day. It is my belief that church leaders recognized that members were not fasting enough and decided if they made it a church wide day, that more people would do it. 

While their intentions were noble, this is too close to 'going through the motions'. What benefit do we get from fasting when our purpose in doing it is because it is the right day of the month? This is an activity that is best served by fasting when the Spirit prompts us to do so. It may be more than once a month, it may be less. The fact is that we limit ourselves to less revelation when we do things blindly rather than seeking them out for ourselves.

Home Teaching

I feel like I am starting to be repetitive. Once again, this is something that has no basis in the scriptures. Was Joseph Smith a home teacher? Was Jesus Christ a home teacher? I believe the answer is YES. However, I do NOT believe that they had a list of 3-5 families that they were required to visit every 30 days. 

They listened to the Spirit and knew who needed to be visited. They were sensitive to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost and were not afraid to act on them. They were not concerned with if it was the 3rd of the month or the 30th of the month. They did not care if they had visited the same person the day before, or if it had been a year since they saw the individual.


I could continue on and on with dozens more topics where we commonly practice the traditions of men. Are we ready to let them go? Are we ready to focus on our personal relationship with Jesus Christ rather than all of the 'outward ordinances'? Or are we so set in our traditions that this very post makes us 'fly to pieces like glass'?

I encourage you to not take my word for it. The above areas neither collectively nor individually should be believed simply because you read them on a blog. Rather, take it to the Lord and find out for yourself. Ask Him which traditions you should keep and which you should change. Ask Him what changes you should make.

-- Cory W.

SAVING ORDINANCES – "the letter [of the law] killeth, but the spirit giveth life!" (2 Cor 3:6)

I’ve grown up cultivating a belief in a checklist of salvation. Roughly, the checklist goes as follows:
1. Get baptized at age eight
2. Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands
3. For males: Receive the Aaronic and the Melchizedek priesthood
4. Receive your endowment/Go through the temple
5. Serve a full time mission
6. Get married in the temple
7. Get some kids
8. Endure to the end
9. Enter into your exaltation
This is fine and all, and centers around, what we call ‘saving ordinances’ that convey deep spiritual truths. The problem is, I don’t believe it, meaning the checklist, anymore. And I believe that it’s a false tradition. Therefore, I will try to shed some new light on the false concept of saving ordinances.

The most commonly known ordinances are: baptism, confirmation (the laying on of the hands for the reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost), baptism of fire and of the Spirit, washing/anointing, endowment, sealing and second anointing. (Have I forgotten any?)

The ordinances of baptism in water and the subsequent baptism of fire and the Spirit are, in my book, fundamental to the Gospel (we have a record of Adam getting baptized by water and by the Spirit, but we don’t know if he was endowed in a temple the way we are today (at the end of this post, I believe we will understand that Adam indeed was endowed in a temple, just not in the way we are taught to believe); see Moses 6:51-68). The ordinances performed in the temple are of a different caliber. Therefore, I will focus on these in this post.

Some background (to my line of thinking)

Note the name of the Church!
The Church of Christ was organized in 1830 (D&C 20). By May 3rd of 1834, the name of the Church was changed to the Church of the Latter-day Saints (History of the Church 2:62-63). Why was the name of Christ taken out of the name of the Church? Hadn’t they read that “ye shall call the church in my name […] And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.” (3 Ne. 27:7-8; see also v. 3-12)

One way to understand this unexpected change, is the most obvious one: the Church had rejected what the Lord had offered and wasn’t His “only true and living church” anymore (D&C 1:30).

Note the name of the Church!
In February of 1831, the Lord gave his law to the Church and said that ” Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my church; And he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned if he so continue.” (D&C 42:59-60) One part of this law was the law of consecration. Obedience to this law is necessary for the establishment of Zion. The early Saints tried to live it, but failed. The reason? ”[J]arrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them[, they] were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God[,] they esteemed lightly my counsel[.]” (D&C 101:6-8)

The Saints were chastened, ”because they did not hearken altogether unto the precepts and commandments which I gave unto them” (D&C 103:4) and they didn’t keep the commandment and they eventually broke ”the covenant through covetousness, and with feigned words” (D&C 104:4). This was in April of 1834. By December 5th the same year, the Lord said, ”Verily, condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Church, and to be saviors of men; and also upon the Church; and there must needs be a repentance and a reformation among you, in all things” (History of the Church 2:177). I guess that this condemnation might have been a continuation of the one pronounced upon the Church in September 1832 (see D&C 84:54-58).

The Lord offered the fulness of his Gospel, and the fulness of his priesthood. Unfortunately, the former was rejected (see 3 Ne. 16:10) and the latter was taken away (D&C 124:28). In 1841, the Saints were commanded to ”build a house to [the name of the Lord], for the Most High to dwell therein. For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.” (D&C 124:25-28, 31)

The Saints, had lost the fulness of the priesthood. In His mercy, the Lord extended one last chance to get it back. “And again, verily I say unto you, I command you again to build a house to my name, even in this place, that you may prove yourselves unto me that ye are faithful in all things whatsoever I command you, that I may bless you, and crown you with honor, immortality, and eternal life” (D&C 124:55)

If they would build a temple in Nauvoo, they would receive the following blessings:
  • “I will reveal mine ordinances therein” (v. 40)
  • “I will consecrate [the place where you build the temple] that it shall be made holy” (v. 44)
  • “you […] shall not be moved out of [your] place” (v. 45) 
The flipside to these promises (that is, the cursings for disobedience) were the following:
  • “your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me” (v. 32, 33, 35)
  • “ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead” (v. 32)
  • “[you] shall not be blest” (v. 46)
  • “I will not perform the oath which I make unto you, neither fulfil the promises which ye expect at my hands” (v. 47)
  • “For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations” (v. 48) 
The Nauvoo temple was never completed by the early Saints. By 1848, it lay in ruins and the Saints had been driven from their place by the Mississippi river. The pioneers surely experienced the wrath of God and the cursings they brought upon their own head. I believe that this experience also facilitated a chance for individuals to repent and reform and come nearer unto God.

(It should be noted that 161 years after the Saints were commanded to build a temple in Nauvoo, one was built. According to my knowledge, this hasn't brought back the fulness of the priesthood.)

I believe that Joseph knew this was going to happen. Therefore, he gave the temple ordinances that we know have to the Church, hoping that the ordinances “might keep [the Church] in remembrance of God and their duty towards him” (see Mosiah 13:30; quoted in context below) and help anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see to wake up to the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

An ancient parallel

Read this excerpt from D&C 84 and ask yourself the question: Why are these verses relevant to the topic at hand?
 19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
 20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. 21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; 22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. 23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; 24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory. 25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; 26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; 27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel
Read also the following and ask yourself the same question.
 25 And it came to pass that after Abinadi had made an end [rehearsing the ten commandments) that he said unto [wicked king Noah and his priests]: Have ye taught this people that they should observe to do all these things for to keep these commandments? 26 I say unto you, Nay; for if ye had, the Lord would not have caused me to come forth and to prophesy evil concerning this people. 27 And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses. 28 And moreover, I say unto you, that salvation doth not come by the law alone; and were it not for the atonement, which God himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of his people, that they must unavoidably perish, notwithstanding the law of Moses. 29 And now I say unto you that it was expedient that there should be a law given to the children of Israel, yea, even a very strict law; for they were a stiffnecked people, quick to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord their God; 30 Therefore there was a law given them, yea, a law of performances and of ordinances, a law which they were to observe strictly from day to day, to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him. 31 But behold, I say unto you, that all these things were types of things to come. 32 And now, did they understand the law? I say unto you, Nay, they did not all understand the law; and this because of the hardness of their hearts; for they understood not that there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God. (Mosiah 13:25-32)
Can you see it? The story of the early Saints has its parallel in ancient Israel! They were also taught how to come before the face of the Lord, but they declined (see Exodus 19, 20; compare with 3 Ne. 16:10-15). They charged Moses to talk to God instead of approaching Him directly. They hardened their hearts and “it was expedient that there should be a law given to [them], yea, even a very strict law; for they were a stiffnecked people, quick to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord their God; Therefore there was a law given them, yea, a law of performances and of ordinances, a law which they were to observe strictly from day to day, to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him.” (Mosiah 13:29-30)

When speaking about the law of performances and ordinances and the law of carnal commandments, we’re speaking of “the Law of Moses”. This is what is meant by “the letter of the law”. God gave His (spiritual) law, but it was rejected and the people asked Moses to be their advocate with the Lord. Therefore, through Moses they received a carnal law, a “schoolmaster to bring [them] unto Christ” and His spiritual law (Gal. 3:24-25).

“Types of things to come” and the endowment of Adam

Abinadi understood what the Israelites, soon after receiving the carnal law, forgot – the ordinances and performances are “types of things to come”. They are designed to be physical reminders of spiritual truths. The sacrificing of animals doesn’t forgive sins, but the redemption of God does. The Israelites started believing that the ordinances themselves had saving power. And that’s also true of latter-day Israel! Joseph gave the ordinances to bring us unto Christ. Instead of doing that, we’ve created checklists!

Let’s look a bit closer at the endowment. Are you endowed after you’ve passed through the veil and entered the celestial room? No! The endowment session is a physical symbol teaching a spiritual truth. In the words of Robert Sonntag: “Ritual ordinances offered by the Church are symbolic of actual saving interactions with heaven. Those saving interactions are the “ordinances” which we must all seek.” (What is a prophet, p. 47)

The fulness of the Gospel is contained in the endowment, and it’s inviting us to have faith, repent and come unto Christ. Doing this will save us in a way that no physical ordinance ever could!

We are to strive to receive our endowment, but we must understand that the temple where it’s supposed to happen isn’t one built with hands. Paul stated, standing on Mars’ Hill: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” (Acts 17:24) To the Corinthians, he asked rhetorically: ”Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. 6:19)

This brings us back to where we started – the baptism of Adam and the question of whether he was endowed in a temple. My answer to this question is–yes! Although Adam never sat through an endowment session in a temple, he was endowed. He was true and faithful in all things, and received further light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord through the veil.

I believe the Lord wants us all to converse with Him through the veil. For this to happen, no physical ordinance is necessary, but it might be helpful for those with ears to hear and eyes to see.


Through a prophet (Moses and Joseph), the Lord gave a law of performances and ordinances, a law of carnal commandments, to a people that rejected the opportunity to come to Christ directly through the fulness of His Gospel.

These ordinances doesn’t save, but they have the ability to point our minds to Him, who is mighty to save. Putting our trust in the ordinances of the Gospel is a false tradition. We can’t put our trust in dead works (see Moroni 8:23) which “availeth nothing except it were through the atonement of [the blood of Christ]” (Mosiah 3:15) and expect to be saved. For this, we need real faith and real repentance, and, in the words of Joseph “put away all [our] false traditions.” (TPJS p. 321)

An overemphasis on the temple, the physical edifice and the physical and symbolical ordinances, can keep us blind to the fact that we are perpetuating the ”curse” of the material version of the spiritual reality God offers us. It can become and end in itself, and we will temple worship our way into spiritual darkness. Or, we can see the temple for what it is, and worship God in "spirit and in truth"! (John 4:24)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

THE DOCTRINE OF INFALLIBILITY – the mother of all false traditions and doctrines!

Pride has been called ”the universal sin, the great vice” and ”the great stumbling block to Zion.” Pride is, as it were, the mother of all sin!

M. Russel Ballard
If we were to point our finger at one ’doctrine’ that might be called ’the mother of all false doctrines and traditions’, it might well be the following doctrine, in this instance expressed by M. Russel Ballard.
 “Keep [your eyes] on the leaders of the Church. … We will not and … cannot lead [you] astray.” 
A brief history of this 'doctrine'!

This doctrine, called the ’infallibility doctrine’, wasn’t conceived by M. Russel Ballard, but rather by Wilford Woodruff. In 1890, the Church was loosing all of its material possessions (including the temples) as a consequence of the Edmunds-Tucker Act, passed in 1886. This act focused on restricting the Church's practice of polygamy, which was considered to be on of the twin relics of barbarism (the other being slavery). Among other things, the Act disincorporated the Church.

The leaders of the Church, beginning with Brigham Young, had taught that polygamy was essential to both exaltation and the faith established by God through Joseph Smith, and anyone that taught against this would be damned. The aim of this was to get the practice of polygamy considered an essential part of the LDS religion and thereby protected by the First Amendment and the free exercise of religion. Despite its efforts, the Church was forced to either comply with the Federal requirement to stop the practice of polygamy, or to forfeit all its material possessions. 

Wilford Woodruff had, in 1869, taught that, “If we were to do away with polygamy ... then we must do away with prophets and Apostles, with revelation and the gifts and graces of the Gospel... and finally give up our religion altogether.... We just can't do that...." (Journal of Discourses, v. 13, p. 166) Since Wilford and his predecessors (except Joseph) had taught that polygamy could never be done away with, he had to give some kind of reassurance to the membership that all was still well in Zion, when he decided to discontinue the practice of polygamy. 

The practice of polygamy is oftentimes believed to have ended with the 1890 Manifesto. That's not true (but is a subject for some other day). Wilford Woodruff is believed to have written the Manifesto whereas Charles W. Penrose claimed to have written it. I don't know who wrote it, and it doesn't matter. The important matter is that, just like Charles W. Penrose is reported to have said, “The Manifesto was not a divine production but something manufactured to outwit the church's enemies” (Apostle Charles W. Penrose, as reported in Solemn Covenant, by Carmon Hardy, 1992).

In connection with presenting the Manifesto to the membership of the Church for sustaining vote, the 'doctrine' of infallibility was taught for the first time. Wilford Woodruff stated the following:
"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty." (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2.)
Wilford Woodruff taught this 'doctrine', defending and justifying a hoax! It's a false doctrine.

A well established 'doctrine'

Since 1890, many Church leaders have born powerful testimony that this 'doctrine' is true.

For example, on September 1, 1994, Deseret News reported that, 
"The LDS Church will never be without a prophet and that prophet will never lead the church astray, a member of the church's First Presidency told a regional conference this week.  
Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Sunday responded to a paper presented at the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City two weeks ago. In the paper, Mormon feminist housewife Janice Allred said statements by President Hinckley that God never would allow the church to be led astray do not have a scriptural basis.  
"She can present her paper until doomsday," President Hinckley said at a Tri-Stake Regional Conference at church-owned Ricks College, but God will see to it that the church will not be led astray.  
In her paper, Allred said, "The scriptures do not give any unconditional promises that the church will never fail, although there are some conditional ones. The condition of the promises is obedience to God, not obedience to leaders."  
People who have been taught to accept anything their leaders say without seeking spiritual confirmation are "easy to deceive," Allred said.  
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church whose members sing, "We Thank Thee, O God, For A Prophet," [and following] that prophet is the way to salvation, President Hinckley said. "Our peace, safety and salvation lie in following the prophet."
Randall K. Bennett of the Seventy taught that, "[W]e have the Lord’s personal promise that the prophets will never lead us astray." 

These are but two examples. Rest assured, there are many, many, many more. It's important to remember, that it doesn't matter how many times a false doctrine is taught, it still remains false.

As noted in the article from Deseret News, Janice Allred stated (in her paper, which is excellent, even though I don't agree with all she says) that there is no scriptural basis for teaching that God never would allow the church to be led astray.

This is evident from the fact that, to support his supposition that we have the Lord's personal promise about not being led astray, Randall Bennett points us to the teachings of Harold B. Lee, Marion G. Romney and Wilford Woodruff. Either Randall Bennett didn't bother to search the scriptures, or he did but couldn't find any support there. Together with Janice Allred, I challenge anyone to find the scriptural reference for this personal promise. I propose that there isn't scriptural basis for this 'doctrine'. It's false, and it's dangerous.

When you're done searching for scriptural support of the 'doctrine' of infallibility, you could start a search for scriptures teaching the opposite. If you need some help to get started, this is a phenomenal resource.

One of my favorite verses that teaches that we can, or more correctly will be led astray by our "shepherds", is this one from Jeremiah 50. He prophesies about a future period of time when Zion has been redeemed and the people of God shall go there to join themselves to the Holy City.
"My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place." (see v. 4-7; emphasis added)
Before we move on...

Janice Allred was later excommunicated from the Church (in Janice's own words here).

This reported quote from Gordon Hinckley is so revealing (from the Deseret News article): 
"Following that prophet is the way to salvation. Our peace, safety and salvation lie in following the prophet."
This teaching is false. There is no safety in following man. Only in following Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life, and we can't get to the Father but by Him! (John 14:6)

What makes this false doctrine so dangerous?

Easy to deceive

Just like Janice Allred stated, people who accept this 'doctrine' are easy to deceive. This fact makes the infallibility doctrine the mother of all false traditions (and false doctrines). A people that surrenders their own responsibility to search out truth and accepts whatever comes from a man/group of men as the mind and will of God and the truth,  is like a puppet show. They will accept, defend and promote teachings and policies that are in clear violation of the doctrine of Christ and the scriptures and they will thank God for a prophet while they do it! 

They will go to great length to justify the dictates from Salt Lake City, even if it means that they will have to come up with colorful explanations and twist and wrest the word of God. They make the word of God null and void. They will say and take comfort in the belief that the Lord will see us through, relying on the false doctrine that we can't be led astray. To them, the pronouncement that "all is well in Zion" is a source of comfort rather than a warning. To them, there's no chance in the world, that the leaders of the Church might be wrong. For me, it's hard to accept this reality. In my mind, we have ample evidence that the Church has been led astray by earlier leaders–if it happened then, why couldn't it happen now?

False traditions (and doctrines) are accepted without thought, on the sole basis that they come from leaders of the Church! Satan doesn't have to put in the effort to get to each member. Instead, he can focus on getting hold of the leadership. If he can make them promote the idea that all is well in Zion, they will, together with their followers, be carefully led down to hell! (2 Ne. 28; read the whole chapters and please understand that it talks about us.) This is serious! Please consider this thoughtfully and prayerfully.

Faith and trust in man

Besides making us easy to deceive, this 'doctrine' is dangerous because it fosters faith and trust IN MAN!We are commanded to put our "trust in the LORD with all our heart and not lean on our own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). If all our heart is invested in God there is no place left for trust in anyone else. 

John Calvin asked rhetorically, "Is it faith to understand nothing, and merely submit your convictions implicitly to the Church?" If we are led to put our full trust in the Church and its leaders, how can we then trust in God? How can we grow in faith on His name? And how can we come to Him when we've put an organization and mortal men in between us? Jesus stands betwixt God and us (see Mosiah 15:9), and He keeps no servant at the gate (see 2 Ne. 9:41).

Faith and trust in man is faith and trust in the arm of flesh. Nephi expressed it clearly when he said that, "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." (2 Ne. 4:34; emphasis added)


Janice Allred states in her paper that, ”A church that believes it cannot go astray gives good evidence that it already has.” Sadly, I believe this is true. But, this doesn't mean that God cannot use the Church as one of many tools employed in His work and  glory, nor does it mean that everything in the Church is false. Not even close. The Church is, in my opinion, a wonderful place to be. Still, what's worse than being lost? Not knowing that you are (lost, that is!).

How can we, as an institution, get back on the right track if we choose pride over humility? If we can't even accept the slight possibility that we might have gone astray and that not all is well in Zion? If the Church, if we as members, can't humble ourselves and acknowledge our "sins", then how can we ever hope to redeem Zion? How can anyone who is oblivious or blind to their uncleanness hope to be counted among the pure in heart, which is Zion (Moses 7:18)? 

God desires that we all are prophets (Num. 11:29) and that we all know Him! How could that be possible if we, like the ancient Israel refuse to come to Him, and send Moses (or Thomas, or Russel or Dallin) to get to know God on our behalf? Some things can't be done by proxy.

God wants us to know Him! Let's follow the admonition in the scriptures, and put our trust in Him, get rid of our false traditions and our belief in false doctrines! 
"The world is full of people who are willing to tell us, “Do as I say.” Surely we have no lack of advice givers on about every subject. But we have so few who are prepared to say, “Do as I do.” And, of course, only One in human history could rightfully and properly make that declaration. History provides many examples of good men and women, but even the best of mortals are flawed in some way or another. None could serve as a perfect model nor as an infallible pattern to follow, however well-intentioned they might be. 
Only Christ can be our ideal, our “bright and morning star”. Only he can say without any reservation, “Follow me; learn of me; do the things you have seen me do. Drink of my water and eat of my bread. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am the law and the light. Look unto me and ye shall live. Love one another as I have loved you.” (Howard W. Hunter, General Conference, April 1994)